Promoting private sector leadership through the MENA 100 conference and MENA-OECD Business Council


Bahrain, 28-29 April 2009


The MENA-OECD Investment Programme is working on two new initiatives aimed at private sector development in the MENA region:

  • The MENA-OECD Business Council will establish a platform for the business community to participate in the regional economic policy dialogue. This initiative is targeted at senior business executives, who will be meeting in a preparatory meeting leading up to the 2009 MENA-OECD Business Forum on 22 November 2009, in conjunction to the 2009 Ministerial Conference
  • The MENA 100 Business Plan Competition seeks to foster entrepreneurial activity at the start-up level. This initiative is aimed at a younger audience of leading entrepreneurs and will help to create a market place for start-ups in the region

In order to advance results and network-building for both initiatives, a two-day conference was held at the end of April 2009, hosted by the MENA Investment Centre, Kingdom of Bahrain, and involved some 50 participants from throughout the region and the OECD.


The conference was organised around the following objectives:

  • Launch of the MENA 100 Business Plan Competition. The set-up, process and aims of the Business Competition were discussed and participants provided detailed input on assessment criteria and other competition aspects
  • Elaborate a structure and institutional set-up for the MENA-OECD Business Council; Participants provided detailed input on the Council’s future structure, aims and composition.
  • Prepare input for the Business Day of the MENA-OECD Ministerial Meeting in November 2009. Participants raised key themese to be included in the Business Day preceeding the Ministerial Meeting in November


The conference also provided ample opportunity for network-building and discussion, including an open roundtable discussion on the effects of the financial crisis on the region, which was held on the first evening of the conference in conjunction with a conference dinner.


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